A very rich man once wanted to become happy. He had tried all kinds of ways but everything had failed. He went to many saints; nobody could help him. Then somebody suggested: ‘You go to Mulla Nasruddin. He lives in a certain town – he is the only man who can be of some help to you.’
The man went with a bag full of diamonds, and he showed the bag to Mulla Nasruddin who was sitting underneath a tree outside the town, resting under the sun. And he said: ‘I am a very miserable man – I want happiness. I am ready to give anything for it, but I have not tasted even once what happiness is – and death is coming closer. Can you help me? How can I be happy? I have all kinds of things that the world can give to me, yet I am unhappy. Why?’
Mulla looked at the man, and it happened so fast that the rich man could not understand what was happening. He just jumped on the man, took away the bag, and ran.
Of course the man followed, crying, shouting: ‘I have been cheated, robbed!’
Mulla knew all the streets of the town, so he was going zigzag, this way and that. And the rich man had never run in his life, and he was crying and tears were flowing down, and he said: ‘I have been robbed absolutely – that was my whole life’s earnings. Save me, people! Help me!’
And a crowd followed. And by the time they reached Mulla, the Mulla had come back to the place where the rich man had found him. The rich man’s horse was still standing there, Mulla was sitting under the tree. The rich man was crying, breathing hard. And Mulla gave the bag back to him.
The rich man said: ‘Thank God!’ And such tears of joy, and such peace.
Mulla said: ‘Look, I have made you happy. Now you know what happiness is? This bag has been with you for years and you were unhappy. It had to be taken away from you.’